Myths and Realities

Why would someone do Hypnotherapy?

Hypnotherapy allows people to remove any internal limiting beliefs or personal barriers, through the power of the subconscious mind. In turn, this allows them to draw on and improve their personal strengths to reach their true potential.

People come to hypnotherapists for a variety of issues. Some of the most popular services that I deal with are:

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Contact us if you’d like more information on our services or to book a session to start making changes right away.

A growing area is Corporate or Executive Services (success, sales, self-confidence, drive, change, writing and communications, creativity etc.), which can be done on a one-to-one basis or within a group.

Issues that are medically related (pain, chronic, migraines, arthritis/joint pain, healing, skin conditions) require a medical professional’s referral – hypnosis works with the medical community, not against it.

However, many people may be working on some misperceptions about hypnosis. Some of the most common questions and myths are answered here…

[acc_item title=”How effective is hypnosis as a stress reliever?”]Whatever stress makes worse, hypnosis can make better.

If we don’t feel 100% about ourselves, even if it isn’t obvious to anyone else, it can eat away inside. Because hypnosis works from the inside out, relief can be targeted at how we feel about ourselves. Once the internal stress is released, then it is much easier to deal with external stresses in daily life and work.

The World Health Organization’s definition of health is – Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.

Hypnosis follows this approach generally, and for issues such as stress. When we can feel good about ourselves on the inside, we can live more authentically, which naturally reduces stress on the inside and out.[/acc_item]
[acc_item title=”What can someone realistically expect from hypnosis?”]Expectations are important in the process of hypnosis. While hypnotherapy is not a ‘magic wand’, this brief therapy can make fundamental and lasting changes for good, quickly and effectively. By removing self-limiting beliefs and developing and enhancing strengths, hypnosis clients can live at peak performance with greater well-being.
[acc_item title=”Are there any particular age groups that respond best to hypnosis?”]Anyone who wants to make a change, for the better, in his or her life responds well to hypnosis. It’s really that simple. Because people go in and out of hypnosis regularly, most people are well experienced. I’ve worked with clients from 6 to over 60. Most people respond deeply and beautifully to hypnosis once erroneous concepts and beliefs about the process are cleared.

While children are in and out of hypnosis most of the time, adults flow in and out of this state naturally as well – believing what we and others say about who we are and what we can do.[/acc_item]
[acc_item title=”Are there any risk factors involved in hypnotherapy”]As control over the hypnotic process is in the hands of the individual working with the hypnotherapist (not in opposition, or as a challenge to the therapist), risk is greatly reduced or eliminated.

Because certified hypnotherapists are highly aware of the power of the mind, this consensual process (no one can be hypnotised in this situation against their will) is both gentle and effective. Certified hypnotherapists are ethically bound to support positive changes that result in safe and reliable new patterns in behaviour.

When you are looking for a hypnotherapist, you are advised to find someone who has training and certification with one of the larger, reputable international hypnosis organisations. The National Guild or Hypnotists and the American Council of Hypnotist Examiners are two such organisations.

Hypnosis has been used by millions of people worldwide (the American Medical Association sanctioned the use of hypnosis in the 1950s). Hypnotherapists commonly receive referrals from medical and psychological professionals, in order to help their clients and patients. A hypnotherapist will work with the client’s health professionals as a complement to (not a replacement for) medical attention.

A few questions you can ask are what methods the hypnotherapist uses to induce the hypnotic state. In general, those who use some of the longer, 20-minute progressive relaxation techniques may not be as experienced as those who use techniques that take five minutes or less. You may also ask if they use only direct suggestion or if they also do regressive or causal techniques. You should feel comfortable with the hypnotherapist or operation – the way they deal with your questions and concerns – before you decide.[/acc_item]
[acc_item title=”MYTH: I’ve never been hypnotized before”]In fact, you’ve been hypnotised many times before. Hypnosis is a natural occurring state of mind. If you’ve ever watched a TV programme or movie and have been really absorbed in it, then you were probably in a natural trance. And this trance is why you didn’t hear someone calling you to dinner, or couldn’t believe that two hours had passed, or wanted the leads to get together at the end of the film (when you know they are just actors, acting). Just as you suspended your beliefs during a scary movie (when you jumped in fright), you can also bypass limiting beliefs in hypnosis.[/acc_item]
[acc_item title=”MYTH: I can’t be hypnotized (because I’m too smart, stubborn, in control)”]Not too long ago, studies believed that only 5 to 20% of the population could be hypnotised. They later found that with information the numbers went way, way up. Anyone of normal or higher intelligence can be hypnotized, anyone who is willing and able to follow instructions. Each person reading this article has been hypnotized before – daydreaming? Hypnotized (hypnosis is focused concentration – you were focused on your own little world). Watched a movie and wanted the leads to get together? Hypnotized (they are just actors and actresses). It happens naturally throughout the day for each one of us. As for “strong willed” individuals, hypnosis isn’t a matter of being weak willed – once “Type A” personalities realize that they will benefit by this therapy and commit to it, they are some of the best clients.[/acc_item]
[acc_item title=”MYTH:I’ll get ‘stuck’ in hypnosis”]The person in hypnosis is in control at all times. All hypnosis is actually self-hypnosis; the hypnotist or hypnotherapist is merely a guide. It is something that you have complete control over and choose to do. If you choose not to be in hypnosis any more you will emerge (“wake up”) or fall asleep.[/acc_item]
[acc_item title=”MYTH: Hypnosis is sleep”]Hypnosis is “attentive and focused concentration”, not sleep. If you sleep during a hypnosis session, you’ll miss a big part of it! While you are in hypnosis, your conscious, subconscious and unconscious levels of your mind are all working – you might not even think that you are in hypnosis at all. While you might not recall all of what went on in the session, you’ll be able to hear the hypnotist’s voice and be aware of your surroundings at all times.[/acc_item]
[acc_item title=”MYTH: The Hypnotist can control your mind”]Say no to “yes Master” – The hypnotic client is completely in control. A hypnotherapist is only a trained guide (like an elite athlete’s coach). You will reject anything that you find immoral or wrong on any level of your mind. You can’t be made to do anything you don’t want to do. While stage hypnotists do things for entertainment, most people who attend are expecting this entertainment and may be open to suggestions of ‘letting go’. However, if your mind ever thought you would be in danger, it would reject all suggestions immediately. Hypnotherapists have a stringent code of ethics and follow it in all sessions. The changes you are “made” to do are changes that you choose to do – the therapist and client work together towards the same goal.[/acc_item]
[acc_item title=”I’ll have to go back in time (to another life) to fix my problem”]Whether we like it or not, most problems or issues have probably established themselves in this lifetime. If you think of the subconscious mind as a warehouse, library or hard drive, there are lots of things in these places that we don’t know about – can you consciously remember all the files in your computer? – Many sources of issues that are happening in our life now, we may have forgotten about consciously, or weren’t aware of their significance at the time.[/acc_item]
[acc_item title=”MYTH: Only weak-willed people can be ‘conned’ into hypnosis”]First of all, hypnotherapy is a consensual process, so both parties are willing to begin with. And it is usually the case that once strong willed people can see the benefits of change, they often make the speediest and most directed progress with hypnosis.[/acc_item]
[acc_item title=”What’s the worst that can wrong?”]The worst thing that could happen is that the client experiences little or no change. This is rare unless someone comes with the expectation or wish to fail to ‘prove’ someone else wrong, or put in a quick ‘try’ to satisfy others for something that they didn’t want to change in the first place. External influence, rather than internal desire for change will create an uphill battle for both client and therapist.[/acc_item]
[acc_item title=”What are the most dramatic successes and failures you’ve seen with hypnosis”]Fortunately, many of the successes that have occurred to clients have been ‘miracles’ to them – a person afraid of speaking in public presents at a conference; someone is freed from being at the whim and control of cigarettes after 40 years; temper against colleagues and clients is diffused; a family feud is forgiven and these broken relationships mend; people learn to really feel comfortable within themselves.

I’ve had one complaint from a weight loss client who said that so many of his extra kilos came off; he needed to buy a new wardrobe. I’m happy to get these complaints.

Because the change comes from the inside – the ‘being’ subconscious mind – many clients aren’t even aware that these shifts have happened until they are highlighted by others or there are telling illustration that show how far they’ve come. This kind of change is a process, and feels so natural.

Once again, failure tends to occur only when pressure to change is purely external, rather than internal.[/acc_item]
[acc_item title=”Can hypnotic suggestions be reversed?”]Should a client really wish to reverse a suggestion, it is possible. However, when people work with an experienced hypnotherapist on a root or causal level, there will inevitably be ‘a-ha’ moments on a conscious and subconscious level that will change the way people view themselves. When personal misperceptions and destroyed and beliefs are righted, then permanent, positive change can be durable.

For lasting change, hypnotherapy does not just treat symptoms (like smoking, drinking, overworking, eating etc.) but gets to the root of the issue (imagine a weed in the middle of a lawn). If only the symptom is dealt with (like mowing off the top of the weed), the situation may be better for a while, but without the real cause being eliminated, then the problem is likely to return. Once the root (which also happens to be the part we don’t usually see) of the issue is resolved through subconscious hypnosis work, then the problem ceases to exist.

Many of the actions we perform and the ways that we think are very deep rooted. If these habits, beliefs or behaviours are no longer useful in your life, hypnosis can help for long-term change.[/acc_item]
[acc_item title=”Are there any side effects from undergoing hypnotherapy?”]Yes. Usually people who have gone through the hypnosis process experience better quality sleep, higher self-confidence and an ability to deal with the ups and downs of life, and improved relationships with others and themselves. [/acc_item]
[acc_item title=”What does hypnotherapy do that psychological counselling may not achieve?”]Hypnosis speaks directly to the subconscious mind. It is in this part of the mind that all our habits, beliefs and behaviours are stored. This is where our past experiences are all recorded, like and internal hard drive. Many of these experiences we remember, most of these have been forgotten.

Just as we are often not aware of the background programmes running our computers, there are also programmes or ‘filters’ that we pick up throughout our lives. Some of these were installed when we were very young and may, unknowingly, be causing us to act or think in a way that may be detrimental to the life we’re living now. These are the situations or feelings in our lives that defy the questions ‘why’?

When we use the conscious mind as in other therapies, there are different issues to consider. The conscious mind is great at analysing and planning, and for short-term memory. The conscious mind is also where will power resides – which is good for the short-term but like adrenalin, can’t last over the long haul.

It is also the ‘rational’ mind. Because we like to make sense of what we are doing, we often make up explanations for the ‘whys’ in our lives, which seem plausible but are often wrong. When we focus on and repeat on our rationalisations for doing what we do, we make that reason sound more and more feasible – even if it is just as incorrect.

For example, smokers might rationalise that a cigarette “give time to myself/ to think”, or “relaxes and calms my stressed nerves”. The real reason – which may have been forgotten over 30 years of habit – could have been that an individual found security, acceptance and connection with other teens when he was young.

Hypnotherapists don’t assume that this is the reason for all clients but works with underlying feelings that often are associated with and causing our behaviours. This allows clients to reveal their ‘real’ reasons for doing what they do, and through that discovery and information can put themselves in a place for change.[/acc_item]
[acc_item title=”Is there a social stigma associated with seeking help from a hypnotherapist?”]Because hypnosis has advanced so much recently in its methods and acceptance, definitions are just now being created for this area for therapeutic change, Hollywood and stage hypnotist misperceptions aside.

Hypnotherapists don’t ‘fix’ or ‘cure’ people because no one who comes to us are either ‘broken’ or ‘sick’. They are just looking to hypnosis for a powerful tool to enhance performance in all aspects of life, from the inside out. Hypnotherapists are like a sports or business coach – working out the quirks that may be slowing down an individual’s functioning and then effecting change to enhance abilities and capabilities.

All sessions are confidential. However, many people see the role of a hypnotherapist as a personal trainer for their minds and share their experiences and triumphs with family, friends and colleagues.[/acc_item]